Although more students are receiving their high-school diplomas than ever before, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center recently reported that the number of students enrolling in college has been declining over the past four years, particularly among low-income students.

We need bold approaches to student success to ensure that leaders throughout the education pipeline are working together to help students connect their learning to life goals, from elementary school to employment.

Thus, I’m proud to announce our partnership with Achieving the Dream (ATD) to develop a comprehensive approach to student success. Together, we will bring leaders from community colleges, four-year institutions, and K-12 institutions as well as workforce development and industry partners, together to develop strategies to ensure that students stay on track throughout their academic journey and achieve their postsecondary and career goals.

The partnership was announced today in Atlanta, Ga. at ATD’s annual student success conference, DREAM 2016. This initiative is part of ATD’s next-generation approach to student success—which seeks to build community colleges’ institutional capacity in seven essential areas including: leadership and vision, teaching and learning, engagement and communication, equity, data and technology, strategy and planning and policies and practices.

As part of our partnership, ATD and Hobsons will co-host two Learning to Life Pathway Workshops to bring together as many as 100 representatives of K-12 systems, community colleges, and four-year institutions to explore practices in synchronizing enrollment, advising, curriculum, career and workforce development between the institutions and employers that allow for students to better persist, complete, and attain living-wage jobs. 

The first workshop is expected to take place in fall 2016 in California. Following the two workshops, we will publish a synthesis of promising practices, lessons learned and next steps.

We look forward to working with Achieving the Dream to convene some of the nation’s most inspirational education leaders to take collective action to improve student outcomes and help students reach their goals.

For more information about our partnership, please read our press release.


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